Inductees in Famous Families

  1. Senator Philip Allen (1785-1865)

    Inducted in 2002

    Senator Philip Allen (1785-1865) of Providence was a merchant, a textile magnate, a reform governor (1851-53), and a one-term United States senator (1853-1859).   The brother of Zachariah Allen, noted inventor and industrialist, and the uncle of Thomas Wilson Dorr, Allen was also prominent in banking and insurance.
    A graduate of Brown University (Class of 1803), Philip Allen was Rhode Island’s most prominent political figure of the early 1850s. He was chosen governor as a Democrat in the April elections of 1851, 1852, and 1853. Read more >
  2. James Burrill Angell (1829-1916)

    Inducted in 2008

    James Burrill Angell (1829-1916) had a remarkably diverse career-- Brown University
    graduate, professor of languages, newspaper editor, university president, and diplomat.  He is best known as the longest-serving president of the University of Michigan where he aspired to provide an ‘uncommon education for the common man.’

    Born on January 7, 1829, in Scituate, Rhode Island, Angell was the eldest of eight
    children of Amy and Andrew Angell, and a member of an old-line Rhode Island family that traced its lineage to Thomas Angell who came to Providence with Roger Williams.

    Although reared on an outlying farm, Angell had an excellent early education including a
    year at the University Grammar School under the instruction of Henry Frieze, a teacher who would spend many years as professor and interim president of the University of Michigan. Read more >

  3. James N. Arnold (1844-1927)

    Inducted in 2007

    James N. Arnold (1844-1927) whose contributions to the study of Rhode Island
    history are as fresh and useful today as they were when first transcribed, dealt in data  of family life: official town documents and records; newspaper accounts; birth, marriage, and death records in church archives; and history on stone in local graveyards.   While historical interpretations pass in and out of favor; the cold facts remain.

    Assembling these annals of the rich and poor required Arnold to travel from
    place to place and to spend hours doing laborious hand transcription. Read more >

  4. Moses Brown (1738-1836)

    Inducted in 1999

    Moses Brown was a prominent Providence merchant, reformer, and philanthropist. He was one of the famous Brown brothers, a group that included John, Joseph, James, and Nicholas. He had a few years of formal schooling before becoming apprenticed to his wealthy uncle Obadiah to learn the intricacies of 18th century trade and commerce. He remained an influential businessman well into the 19th century. Read more >

  5. Nicholas Brown, II (1769-1841)

    Inducted in 2000

    Nicholas Brown, one of the five famous Brown brothers of late eighteenth-century Providence, died in 1791, leaving his financial empire to his son and namesake, Nicholas II.  The younger Nicholas married Ann Carter, daughter of the prominent Providence publisher John Carter, and formed the highly successful mercantile industrial partnership called Brown and Ives in 1796.

    When the name of Rhode Island College was changed to Brown University in 1804, the change was made in recognition of the gifts and services rendered to the school by the Brown brothers and by the younger Nicholas, who took his father’s seat on the corporation and served as a member for fifty years, twenty-nine of them as treasurer.  In 1823 Nicholas presented to Brown the dormitory known as Hope College, and in 1834 he donated Manning Hall as a chapel and library in honor of the university’s first president. Read more >

  6. LeBaron Bradford Colt (1846-1924)

    Inducted in 2008

    LeBaron Bradford Colt (1846-1924) was born in Dedham, Massachusetts to Christopher and Theodora (DeWolf) Colt.  He and his equally famous brother, Samuel, had very influential forebears.  On their maternal side, they were the grandsons of General George DeWolf of Bristol and the grandnephews of U.S. Read more >

  7. Samuel Pomeroy Colt (1852-1921)

    Inducted in 2008

    Samuel Pomeroy Colt (1852-1921), a brother of U.S. Senator LeBaron Colt, shared his sibling’s impressive lineage.  Born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1852 as the youngest of six children, he received his early education in Hartford, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873, and from Columbia Law School in 1876. Read more >

  8. Gov. Samuel Cranston (1659-1727)

    Inducted in 1998

    Samuel Cranston (1659-1727) was governor of Rhode Island for almost twenty-nine years--1698-1727--a tenure not only longer than any Rhode Island governor but also exceeding the tenure of any other chief executive of an American colony or state.

    Cranston was the son of John Cranston of Scottish ancestry who was also a Rhode Island governor (1678-1680).  His mother Mary Clarke was the daughter of Governor Jeremy Clarke (1648-1649) and the sister of Governor Walter Clarke (1676-1677, 1686, 1696-1698), so Samuel was well-schooled in the art of politics and the beneficiary of his family’s high social standing.  His first wife, Mary Williams Hart, the granddaughter of Roger Williams, bore him seven children. Read more >

  9. Joseph Davol (1837-1909)

    Inducted in 2007

    Joseph Davol (1837-1909), a native of Warren, traced his ancestry to William Davol who settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1640. After early schooling in Warren, Joseph moved with his parents to Brooklyn, New York where he attended high school. At the age of sixteen he entered the employ of a wholesale dry goods business in New York City where he received successive promotions by exhibiting a talent for business. In 1862 Davol married Mary E. Read more >

  10. Governors Elisha & Elisha Jr. Dyer

    Inducted in 2007

    Governor Elisha Dyer (1811-1890) and Governor Elisher Dyer, Jr. (1839-1909) traced their illustrious ancestry to William and Mary Dyer of Boston who settled Portsmouth in 1638 as exiled disciples of Anne Hutchinson. They eventually embraced Quakerism, and Mary repeatedly returned to Boston to preach the new doctrine in defiance of the Puritan magistrates. Such persistence earned her martyrdom. Read more >

  11. Amasa Eaton (1841-1914)

    Inducted in 2009

    Amasa Eaton (1841-1914) was a prominent Providence attorney who might be described as the quintessential Progressive reformer. His distinguished lineage included Providence’s Brown family and the Herreshoffs of Bristol. 
    He was an outspoken advocate of home rule for Providence and a member of the Metropolitan Park Commission, the Blackstone Neighborhood Improvement Association, and various good-government organizations. He supported the local Equal Rights movement of the 1880s and advocated the implementation of the merit system and civil service reform. Read more >
  12. James & Ann Smith Franklin (1696-)

    Inducted in 1998

    James Franklin (1696-1735) was the older brother of Benjamin Franklin.  Born in Boston, James learned the printing trade in England and then returned to America.  In 1721, he began publication of the controversial New England Courant, which was disrespectful of civil and ecclesiastical policies.  Young Benjamin Franklin also worked on this paper until 1723 as an apprentice to his brother. Read more >

  13. Colonel Robert Hale Ives Goddard (1837-1916)

    Inducted in 2009

    Colonel Robert Goddard (1837-1916) was a son of Professor William G. Goddard,
    newspaperman and first Chancellor of Brown University, and Charlotte Rhoda Ives Goddard. Through his mother’s line of descent, Goddard was related to the Ives family, who partnered with the Brown family in shipping, manufacturing, real estate, and banking through the Providence firm of Brown and Ives. He was a Brown University graduate in the class of 1858. Read more >
  14. George Washington Greene (1811-1883)

    Inducted in 2004

    George Washington Greene (1811-1883), prominent educator and author, was born in East Greenwich and was the grandson of Nathanael Greene, the great Revolutionary War general.

    As a young man, Greene traveled extensively in Europe gaining proficiency in the Italian and French languages.  His first wife was Italian and he served as U.S. Read more >

  15. Carl W. Haffenreffer (1906-1999)

    Inducted in 2007

    Carl W. Haffenreffer (1906-1999), son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., continued his father’s tradition of business and philanthropic activity. With brother Rudolph 3rd and the R. Read more >
  16. Rudolph Frederick Haffenreffer, Jr. (1874-1954)

    Inducted in 2007

    Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, Jr. (1874-1954), a native of Boston and a first generation German-American, became a successful Fall River brewer and purchased several hundred acres in Bristol from 1903 to 1912 for use as a summer retreat His acquisitions included Mount Hope and the Bradford House. 

    Haffenreffer was a major entrepreneur. Among his business enterprises were the Narragansett Brewery, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, and several western mining companies. Read more >

  17. Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, III (1902-1991)

    Inducted in 2007

    Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, III (1902-1991), the eldest son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., succeeded to his father’s positions in several family ventures. Rudolph, III graduated from Dartmouth College (where he was an active alumnus) and Harvard School of Business Administration. He served as president of Narragansett Brewery and the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company which the Haffenreffer family acquired in 1930. Read more >
  18. Rev. Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909)

    Inducted in 2007

    Rev. Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), noted author, social and economic reformer, and Unitarian minister was born in Boston. His father was a nephew of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, and his maternal uncle and namesake Edward Everett was a noted orator, U.S. Read more >
  19. Thomas Robinson Hazard (1797-1886)

    Inducted in 2002

    Thomas Robinson Hazard (1797-1886) was a South Kingstown manufacturer, agriculturalist, author, and social reformer who embodied the egalitarian spirit of the pre-Civil War age of reform.
    Affectionately called “Shepard Tom” because of his prize sheep herd, Hazard was a seventh generation descendant of Thomas Hazard, the progenitor of the famous Hazard clan of Rhode Island and one of the nine founders of Newport. He was also the grandson of Thomas Hazard (1720-1798), an eighteenth-century South County Quaker abolitionist called “College Tom” because of his advanced study at Yale, and the older brother of Rowland Gibson Hazard (1801-1888), a noted Peace Dale woolen manufacturer, railroad promoter, and writer on philosophical subjects.
    Thomas Robinson Hazard grew wealthy as a South County sheepraiser and woolen goods magnate. Read more >
  20. Mr. & Mrs. Austin T. Levy

    Inducted in 1969

    Mr. Levy was a successful textile manufacturer, and his gracious wife, June, was known as the 'First Lady of Burrillville'. Their philanthropic interest played a major role in the development of their town. Through their gifts the town gained its' Town Hall, the Harrisville Assembly Theater Building, a library, a post office, the Harrisville Courthouse, two school buildings, and an indoor hockey rink. Read more >
  21. Frederick Lippitt (1917-2005)

    Inducted in 2006

    Born to a life of privilege, Fred Lippitt (1917-2005) decided it was a privilege to serve
    others. The Lippitt family was among the first settlers of Rhode Island. In 1638, John Lippitt
    arrived in Providence. An ancestor, Christopher Lippitt, commanded Rhode Island troops in the
    Revolution. Read more >

  22. Brigadier General Isaac Peace Rodman (1822-1862)

    Inducted in 2003

    Isaac Peace Rodman was born in South Kingstown on August 18, 1822 to Samuel Rodman, a woolen manufacturer, and Mary (Peckham) Rodman. His ancestors included members of South Kingstown’s most prominent clans--the Hazards and the Perrys. After attending local public schools Isaac entered his father’s business, but his love of learning and avid reading habits gained him local renown as a scholar and literary critic. Engaging in public life, Rodman served as president of his town council and as a senator and a representative in the Rhode Island General Assembly. Read more >
  23. Senator William Sprague, Jr. (1799-1856)

    Inducted in 2001

    Senator William Sprague, Jr. (1799-1856) was one of the most prominent members of a family that ranked as one of Rhode Island’s richest and most powerful during the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century.   He was the son and namesake of William Sprague, founder of the great textile empire, the younger brother of Amasa, whose murder in 1843 gave rise to the infamous trial of John Gordon, and the uncle of William Sprague, Rhode Island’s Civil War Governor and later U.S. Read more >

  24. Judah Touro

    Inducted in 1970

    Mr. Touro was a Newport philanthropist who made many contributions to his native city, many of them after he became a citizen of New Orleans. He played a major role in the erection of Bunker Hill Monument with considerable financial aide. Mr. Read more >
  25. John Townsend (1733-1809)

    Inducted in 1998

    John Townsend (1733-1809) was only one of at least 18 family members in an extended three-generation family of Townsends and Goddards who crafted the famed Newport style of American furniture from 1740 to 1840.  Other famous members of their Quaker clan, who lived and worked in the Point section of Newport, were John Goddard, Joseph, Jr., and Christopher Townsend.

    Newport was the destination of many cargoes of fine mahogany woods from Honduras and Santo Domingo. Read more >

  26. Wilkins Updike (1784-1867)

    Inducted in 2002

    Wilkins Updike (1784-1867), a member of the noted Cocumscussoc family of North Kingstown, was the youngest of eleven children of Lodowick and Abigail Updike and himself the father of twelve. Wilkins moved to the village of Kingston as a young man after the Updikes lost Cocumscussoc through business reverses, and for many years he represented South Kingstown in the General Assembly. 
    Updike was one of the leading lawyers and orators of his era and a close and effective ally of Henry Barnard and his own neighbor Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Read more >
  27. Abraham Whipple (1733-1819)

    Inducted in 1999

    Abraham Whipple, from Providence, was a famous privateersman and naval officer. Of humble birth, Whipple went to sea at an early age and became associated with the wealthy and influential Brown family of merchant entrepreneurs. During the French and Indian War, Whipple served as a privateersman under the command of Esek Hopkins, whose sister Sarah he married in 1761. They had three children. Read more >



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